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Frugal Philosophies

by Ira Lanes
June 03, 2009
Frugal is the new black. In the current economic crisis, frugality has become a way of life for many. Frugal philosophies are being espoused left and right as a way to cope with the economic recession. From coupons and codes to budget cuts to creative shopping, people are learning to tighten their belts.

Frugal philosophies have been around for a long time. Remember those stories your grandma and grandpa told you? They are bound to have some pretty hilarious ways of saving on something. Most likely, those stories involved a lot of hard work and frugality of living. If you've heard the stories and understood the lessons imparted, you won't be surprised to see that many of the older folk practice frugality and thriftiness almost unconsciously.

The trend of consumerism has pretty much put relegated frugal living to a shelf. The ease of acquiring goods, on credit or otherwise, have made people complacent about money. The ease of replacing items with something newer, shinier, bigger and ostensibly better, has made reusing and recycling as relics of the past. There is also the cost of repair. Often, it is cheaper to buy new than to have a certain household item or so repaired professionally. Before, people made, installed, maintained and repaired their house and belongings themselves. Now, professionals are brought in to do the job. If it proves expensive to repair an item to its original condition, the item is discarded and then replaced with a newer model.

Now the downturn that the economy is experiencing has made people open to the idea of living frugal philosophies and improving on them. People from all economic brackets are practicing thrift and economy. Formerly lavish parties are now more laid back as a display of wealth in the current crisis may be considered to be in bad form.

Frugal philosophies are all about the conservation of resources. Wealth is a resource and as such, should be taken care of. If you have more money than you need, then living frugally will ensure that your money will last a long while. If you have less money, you are still assured that your money will be stretched longer by frugal living philosophies. These philosophies can be practiced by anyone determined to live a frugal lifestyle.

Frugal living is a challenging way to live. This lifestyle requires thought, creativity and discipline. The ease of acquiring things is the greatest challenge to living frugally. Most people find it hard to adjust to a lifestyle of frugal living after being exposed to the ease of acquiring things.

Living frugally can be accomplished with careful planning and a clear understanding of what the goal is. The goal may be something lofty like clearing a mountain of debt or accumulating wealth or as mundane as buying a nice coat with shoes to match. Setting a goal is essential to being able to live a disciplined and frugal life. Sacrifices are more easily borne when there is a clear view of what the sacrifice is for.

If you have children, get them in the habits of thrift and frugality. These values will be of great help to them when they reach adulthood. Make frugality a game and they will participate happily.

Another benefit that frugal living can provide is saving Mother Nature. Since frugality is all about conservation of resources, frugal philosophies tie in very nicely to the drive to help Mother Earth.

That's a double win right there.


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